Javier Mendez: Record, Net Worth, Weight, Age & More!
Who is Javier Mendez?
Javier Mendez is a Mexican born mixed martial artist, former World Champion ISKA kickboxer, and one of the most successful MMA coaches of all time. In addition to his exploits inside the ring, Mendez is the co-owner and founder of American Kickboxing Academy, known in MMA circles simply as “AKA”. The gym is home to several UFC champions, including the fighter who many consider to be the greatest of all time, Khabib Nurmagomedov.
What this article covers:
- Who is Javier Mendez?
- How Old is Javier Mendez?
- How Much Does Javier Mendez Weigh?
- Javier Mendez Fight List
- Is Javier Mendez Retired?
Mendez began training in martial arts long before the mainstream craze hit America. He began in a very traditional way: studying the ancient art of Tang Soo Do, a forerunner of modern Taekwondo, among other things. After a brief period learning the basics, he ended up walking into a young trainer’s class at West Coast Tae Kwon Do.
That Trainer? None other than Scott Coker, the former CEO of the Strikeforce promotion and current Bellator MMA president. The two became friends and Mendez trained under Coker for years before taking his first kickboxing match in 1985, about seven years after he began training.
Soon after turning pro in 1985, Mendez decided to pioneer his own style in the area and began a small study group of dedicated kickboxers at his own tiny gym, American Kickboxing Academy. Now known simply by its initials, AKA, Mendez couldn’t have known he was opening the doors to one of the most important and enduring institutions in the entire sport of mixed martial arts.
From his new home gym of AKA, Mendez trained a dedicated group of close friends and peers as they worked their way up the regional, and eventually international, circuit of kickboxers. They weren’t just playing at kickboxing: they were making real progress. Javier Mendez took the next seven years to perfect his game and continue to compete while training himself and others to improve in a burgeoning sport without a blueprint.
His hard work and dedication to the growing art of kickboxing paid off in 1992, when Javier was named the ISKA Light-Cruiserweight Champion. Only three years later, in 1995, Mendez’ path crossed with another unsung hero of martial arts, Conrad Pla, the founder of another championship calibur gym, Tristar. The two faced off in a Light Heavyweight Championship match that year and, although it was a closely contested bout, Javier came out on top to earn his second ISKA Championship.
The following year, Javier’s life changed again when a UFC fighter who was local to the area, Brian Johnston, came to Mendez’s gym to offer some more kickboxing expertise. Seeing the new dimensions that MMA accounted for while striking was an inspiration to Javier, and he instantly wanted to become involved.
He stopped competing in ISKA events and retired from competition in order to become a full time coach in the sport of mixed martial arts. While his background was obviously based in the striking arts, Javier was smart to surround himself with grappling experts as well so that he could grow both his own game, and the game of his students.
For a former ISKA kickboxer to turn MMA trainer is somewhat surprising on its face, but Mendez clearly had a plan. He executed that plan within a year, when he coached superstar Frank Shamrock to a 1997 Heavyweight UFC title. The two continued to work together until 2003, when Shamrock departed. All told, Shamrock left AKA with a heavyweight UFC title, the first ever light heavyweight strap, and was undefeated in his time under Javier.
The story doesn’t stop here. You might expect that Mendez had impacted the sport and was content to stop, but this was not the case. Instead of resting on his laurels, Mendez continued to improve his game and expand his roster of athletes to include other top level talent from the UFC.
In 2001, two years before Frank Shamrock’s eventual departure, another UFC hall of famer joined the AKA family: BJ Penn. Although the young Hawaiin was just starting to make a pro name for himself at the time, the focused coaching of Javier Mendez and the rest of AKA led BJ to become a two division champ. He claimed dominance over both the Lightweight and Welterweight division of the UFC before retiring.
The next in this growing pantheon of AKA champions would be Cain Velasquez, who is still mentioned in the conversation for the scariest heavyweights of all time. Cain was known for his brutal striking skill and submission game, in addition to an unlimited gas tank that saw him more active in the 5th round of some heavyweight fights than in the first. He claimed the Heavyweight title not once, but twice before retiring early from an injury plagued career.
Javier Mendez showed no signs of slowing down and, within a year of Velasquez’s 2015 title, he had helped coach two more champions to the top of their divisions. Daniel Cormier is one of the most decorated UFC champions of all time in both the Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight divisions. Luke Rockhold is a long, ferocious striker who at one time terrorized the UFC Middleweight division. By the end of 2015, Javier Mendez was the coach to the champion of three UFC weight classes- at once!
While it may seem impossible to continue adding accolades to the wall at AKA, Javier also had a hand in two of the most recent Lightweight superstars’ ascent to fame: Khabib Nurmagomedov and Islam Makhachev. In his run to the top of the UFC, Khabib was utterly undefeated with some arguing that he never lost a round of any professional MMA fight. It’s hard to argue with the label of GOAT for the man who retired on top to make way for his brother in arms, Makhachev. Islam’s dominant win over Charles Oliveira to claim the championship in late 2022 marks the eighth UFC champion to come out of Javier’s camp.
How Old is Javier Mendez?
Javier Mendez was born on September 18th in 1970. He is 52 years old as of 2022.
Javier Mendez Family
Not much has been published about Javier Mendez’s family. He maintains a private life, preferring to focus on the sport when interviewed.
How Much is Javier Mendez Worth?
Javier Mendez’s net worth is not public information. He is one of, if not the most successful UFC-calibur gym owners in history.
How Tall is Javier Mendez?
Javier last competed in 1995, but his height isn’t recorded.
How Much Does Javier Mendez Weigh?
Javier Mendez competed most frequently at 187 pounds, or about 85 kg. He went down a weight to claim a second title at 179.5 pounds as well.
Javier Mendez Fight List
Most of Javier Mendez’s fights took place in the 1980s and have been lost to time. He was the 1992 ISKA Light-Cruiserweight Champion and the 1995 ISKA Light-Heavyweight Champion.
Javier Mendez's Best Fight of All Time
Javier’s most competitive ISKA match was his 1995 victory over Conrad Pla, the founder of Tristar gym.
Who Did Javier Mendez Lose To?
Mendez's record isn’t preserved, but he wasn’t undefeated. He lost matches as a ISKA fighter.
Javier Mendez Record
Javier Mendez’ competition record isn’t preserved.
Javier Mendez Injuries
Many fighters and grapplers who dedicate their lives to the mat find themselves injured as their career progresses. Even a competitor like Javier Mendez has experienced some physical setbacks, but none have been reported to have cost major time off.
Is Javier Mendez Retired?
Javier Mendez has been retired from professional competition since 1996. He immediately started coaching UFC fighters to championships by creating AKA, American Kickboxing Academy, as a home for MMA fighters of the highest level. As the head kickboxing trainer at AKA, Mendez has coached 8 UFC champions to their titles and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Next up on his agenda? Islam Makhachev’s first title defense, likely this winter.
When Mendez isn’t coaching in-person or cornering champions, he is creating content for others to learn from. The leading kickboxing trainer in MMA has now partnered with the leader in online instructionals, Dynamic Striking. Javier believes in going back to the basics, so he’s filmed them for all to see in his excellent volume, “Footwork for MMA Striking”. Inside, this former ISKA champion breaks down what it takes to adapt a striker's game into mma seamlessly. Take a look at these footwork basics with Javier and get your fundamentals rock solid today!
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